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Too often I hear, ‘I’m not creative’

Updated: Feb 11, 2023

I really do enjoy getting to know each person that comes to one of my classes. Importantly, finding out what motivated them to join the class. I ask about their background, interests and hobbies. Have they done something like this before eg painted, made something with their hands…. What I’m often told is ‘I’m not creative’.

This is when I think to myself, it’s too bad that:

• This person doesn’t believe in their own abilities and potential

• The joy of creating things is being suppressed

“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt ― Sylvia Plath

The Good News

I know from decades of experience, that everybody has the potential for creativity.

The good news is that is that they are here, in my class, and that is one the first steps to changing this negative belief.

By coming along, it means that they want to start creating. They might just need: some structure, guidance, equipment/materials or time set aside in order to explore

It is always so gratifying, at the end of the class, to ask how they feel now – with their new learnt skills and something they have made eg painting, piece of jewellery. I smile as I can hear and see their pride and excitement from their ‘effort’.

What’s holding your creativity back ?

While I believe everybody can be creative, many are not initially. Or are not as creative as they could be.

Personality, nature, and outlook influence an individual’s attitude toward creativity.

Some reasons why:

You want to be an expert - How can this possibly be a bad thing? Being an expert in your profession is what gets you paid isn’t it? Here’s the thing: if you are too focussed on getting it exactly right you miss out on just enjoying the process of learning and trying something new.

In my classes I take you step-by-step, demonstrating the skills and techniques, then watching you as you have a go (and helping out when we needed). Everyone tackles things differently, but I hope through participating in the class, trying, encouragement and even experimenting you start developing your skills and techniques.

Remember, anything new always requires practice.

You’re afraid to fail - Not many people are comfortable with failure. Most of us want to avoid risks as much as possible. Failure in our minds is one of the worst things that can happen. Taking risks, therefore, is scary.

In my class I guarantee that no one fails. I’m there to guide and support you as much or little as you want. I’ll help you develop your own style without projecting my own and find ways for you to succeed at your own pace.

Everyone goes home with something they have made.

You suffer from limiting beliefs – Have you ever caught yourself thinking ‘creativity is a gift that only artists are blessed with’? That’s wrong. Creativity is a skill that can be learned.

You are not creative anymore and that maybe because you have lost trust in yourself, maybe because some of your efforts have not provided you the results you deserved.

All you need do is start learning and start practising.

Through support and conversation, in all my workshops, I aim to set a welcoming, relaxed fun and positive vibe – all designed to unlock your hidden or budding creativity and get you to ditch those limiting beliefs.

“A few simple tips for life: feet on the ground, head to the skies, heart open…quiet mind ― Rasheed Ogunlaru

Why is being creative important

Creativity helps individuals adapt and builds resilience, self-reliance and self-confidence in a constantly changing world.

Many of us pursue artistic or creative activities because we enjoy them, intuitively feeling that it’s beneficial for us. This intuition is correct as art and creativity can have significant benefits for our mental health. This includes writing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting or other forms of creative expression.

“A creative life is an amplified life. It's a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life, and a hell of a lot more interesting life ― Elizabeth Gilbert

Tips to boost your creativity

Find the right outlet for you. Painting, drawing, writing or gardening, dancing or taking photos. Try incorporating a creative activity into your daily life.

Jazz up the ‘office’ space. Your surroundings play a big part in what you think about. If it’s full of things that inspire and motivate you, you’ll be more able to think of energised and new ideas. Try placing fun photos and decorations in the area. Use stickers, coloured paper and fun pens.

Lose the expectations. Try not to put high expectations on creating something amazing the first time. Don’t be harsh on yourself and remind yourself that it’s okay to make mistakes. Everyone is capable of being creative. What’s important is the process rather than the outcome. Reminding yourself this can take away the pressures and barriers.

Try Art Prompt

The intention is to get the ideas flowing, break with the fear of facing the blank canvas/piece of paper, and just DO. Here are some art prompts for you to try

  • Get a magazine. Collage a whole piece of paper with random torn images. Then paint colour one solid colour over the entire collage. When almost dry use a baby wipe to reveal some parts. What do you see – feel. Can you create a story for your art.

  • Take a very small part/design/pattern from a favourite mug, rug, cushion. Recreate it as a painting or drawing. It could be repeating the pattern in different sizes/colours/types of lines.

  • Dip a piece of string in paint and see how many ways you can use it to make marks on the paper - swing, dab, roll etc.

  • Creating something with found objects from a walk: leaves, sticks, shells, rubbish, twigs, seeds, sand. There is no wrong or right - just exploration and experimentation! Taking a picture. Share if you like! Or keep your own visual photo diary just for you.

Everybody is creative.

Creativity can be practiced and developed.

People manifest creativity in different ways.

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